Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Family Visits

My brother and his family (wife and two daughters) were here for a week. I haven't seen them in over 10 years. It was a really nice visit.

I left the northeast in 1994. We lived in Florida for two years, and then moved here to Texas. Even though I spent the first 35 years of my life in the northeast, I never missed it once I left. I did, however, miss Florida like crazy when we moved to Texas. I still want to go back to Florida. But not central Florida. Gawd no... our house in Boca was 12 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, it got hot. Yes, we had humidity. But it wasn't oppressive. I loved it. The climate fed my soul. I loved it! I have, however, been to Orlando in July and would NEVER recommend that! Now THAT is oppressive. You have to live near the coast to appreciate Florida.

When we first came to Texas, I hated it. I felt like I had been ripped out of paradise and deposited in the desert. The summers are hotter and the winters are colder. It's a lose/lose situation. But after 9 years, it's home. The summer is still hot. The winters aren't as bad as the northeast. And it's home now. And if I must live in Texas, the Austin area is the BEST.

My brother and his family had never been to Texas. They loved it. They went to the Alamo. We took a Sunday drive all through Austin and stopped in to see the Capitol and toured the UT campus by car. They really thought it was a great city. And I guess it really is. It's interesting to see your 'home' through a visitor's eyes. And I can appreciate how funky and different the city of Austin is. To me, Austin is a big town/little city. I am not intimidated navigating it's streets. Drop me into the middle or Dallas or Houston and you will see panic! I hope Austin never gets like that (although it's growing more crowded every year.)

The thing that they kept saying was how 'clean' it is here. Is it really? No.... it's just younger. I remember when we first moved to Florida. I had that same impression. Everything is clean and bright. I think it is just that in comparison to the northeast, it seems that way. The northeast is the oldest part of our country. It was once very industrial. The infrastructure is aged. The winters take their toll on things. It's just older. And I do believe the air isn't as clean either. So there are many factors. It's a comparison between apples and oranges.

There are times when I miss the history of the northeast. But those times are few. I do miss the mountains of New York in the fall. We had a wonderful view from our living room window that was like a picture postcard on autumn days, and in the winter after a snowfall. But I really have no desire to move back there. I do need to go for a visit one of these days though.

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